FUGITIVE VALLEY (director: S. Roy Luby; screenwriters: Oliver Drake/John Vlahos/Robert Finkle; cinematographer: Robert Cline; editor: S. Roy Luby; music: Frank Sanucci; cast: Julie Duncan (Ann), Glenn Strange (Gray), Reed Howes (Brandon), Ray Corrigan (Crash Corrigan), John King (Dusty King), Max Terhune (Alibi Terhune aka Professor), Ed Brady (Doctor Steve), Tom London (Marshal Warren), Bob Kortman (Red Langdon), Carl Matthews (Slick); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: George W. Weeks; Mill Creek Entertainment; 1941)
“Goofy, far-fetched and breezy second-rate Range Buster western directed without style by S. Roy Luby.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Goofy, far-fetched and breezy second-rate Range Buster western directed without style by S. Roy Luby (“Arizona Stage Coach”/”Border Phantom”/”Desert Phantom”). Writers Oliver Drake, John Vlahos and Robert Finkle keep it formulaic according to the serial.
The Range Busters–Crash Corrigan, Dusty King and Max Terhune–work undercover in Texas to help Marshal Warren (Tom London) break up an outlaw ring working with impunity in the territory and believed to be led by the Whip. The lawmen scheme has Crash arrested as a wanted stage coach robber and after put in jail, his pal Dusty King breaks him out of jail and they also free his cellmate Red Langdon (Bob Kortman). To escape the posse Red takes his new friends to Fugitive Valley, where the gang committing all the robberies has a hideout. The outlaw safe haven is led by Gray (Glenn Strange), who when asked about the notorious Whip–replies no such a person exists.
The new boys convince Gray to rob a stagecoach, and there the Range Busters meet their third partner called Alibi (Max Terhune) and he poses as a magician. They convince the gang to take him back to the Fugitive Valley hideout to provide entertainment for the boys, and this gives the magician a chance to send messages to the marshal through his carrier pigeons.
If you could believe (because I couldn’t) there’s a resident doctor (Ed Brady) and nurse Ann (Julie Duncan) at Fugitive Valley. It turns out that Ann is the Whip, working on the side of the law, as she wishes to avenge the death of her father and that she lost her ranch due to the outlaw Gray and his rancher boss, the civic leader Brandon (Reed Howes ). Ann has organized her fellow victim ranchers and they in turn through Ann’s inside info from Fugitive Valley rob Brandon of the loot he receives from Gray, as Ann uses secret passages in the Valley to freely come and go undetected.
If the plot wasn’t corny enough, there here are corny musical numbers to keep you entertained such as “Riding Along,” “My Little Prairie Annie,” and “Chisholm Trail.”
REVIEWED ON 8/28/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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